News

Afghanistan: Drone missile killed two US soldiers

2011-04-12
Afghanistan: Drone missile killed two US soldiers
A drone missile strike is suspected of killing two US soldiers by mistake in southern Afghanistan last week, US military officials have said. The apparent case of "friendly fire" is being investigated - if it is confirmed it would be a rare instance of pilotless aircraft killing US forces.

Laser gun fired from US navy ship

2011-04-12
Laser gun fired from US navy ship
The US Navy has fired a laser gun from one of its ships for the first time. Researchers used the high-energy laser (HEL) to disable a boat by setting fire to its engines off the coast of California. Similar systems had previously been tested on land, however moist sea air presented an extra challenge as it reduces a beam's power. The navy said that ship-borne lasers could eventually be used to protect vessels from small attack boats.

Controlling ARdrone using a kinect and body movements

2011-04-11
Controlling ARdrone using a kinect and body movements
Nice one for a Friday afternoon, we are not convinced this is the most efficient way to control a multirotor. It points to the future though. Joysticks may become a thing of the past? This week in the UK a Royal Air Force study showed that non pilots performed as well as trained pilots whilst commanding UAS.

Micro Aircraft IMPULLS Improves Avionic Systems And Sensors

2011-04-11
Micro Aircraft IMPULLS Improves Avionic Systems And Sensors
A novel test aircraft of the TU Muenchen successfully completed its maiden flight few days ago at the airfield of the MFC Red Baron near Heimstetten. The micro aircraft christened "IMPULLS" (Innovative Modular Payload UAV - TUM LLS) will facilitate testing aviation sensors and systems.

Paparazzi Open Source autopilot operates in the Antarctic

2011-04-08
Paparazzi Open Source autopilot operates in the Antarctic
Scientists from the Finnish Meteorological Institute used small unmanned aircrafts to collect atmospheric data in a measurement campaign at the Finnish Aboa station located in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. During 26 flights they collected 61 vertical profiles in altitudes up to 1000m with fully automatic operating aircrafts.

Azad Systems starts UAV production

2011-04-05
Azad Systems starts UAV production
Production has started at Azad Systems, a joint venture between the defence ministry of Azerbaijan and Israeli unmanned aircraft systems manufacturer Aeronautics. In recent years, Israel has become a major arms supplier to Azerbaijan. The deals so far include artillery systems, communications equipment and UAVs of the same types that will be now assembled locally.

Cassidian changes funding plans for Talarion UAS

2011-03-31
Cassidian changes funding plans for Talarion UAS

Frustrated by a continued lack of progress with advancing its Talarion unmanned air system programme, EADS company Cassidian has suggested an alternative funding proposal to planned participants France, Germany and Spain.

US plans to use drones in military action in Libya

2011-03-23
US plans to use drones in military action in Libya
A former senior Pentagon official warned that if the US decided to hit certain targets with Predator drones, it would have to be part of "a much broader context". He said that Libya did not have many tanks, but destroying a few with the Predator's Hellfire missiles would not end the violence. Most of the US Air Force's Predators and the longer-range Reaper drones are assigned to Afghanistan. But some could be redeployed for use in Libya. "The best thing about using Predators is that they have a lot of loiter time and there is no aircrew to be put at risk," the former Pentagon official said.

Unmanned systems to help Japan during crysis

2011-03-23
Unmanned systems to help Japan during crysis
The Japanese government has asked for robot assistance specifically for the crisis at its nuclear plant. American Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has been working with the U.S. State Department about this specific request.
They have received the following requirements on UAS capabilities to support reactor cooling operations. The Japanese government has requested:

New prospective UVS programm to be launched by DARPA

2011-03-21
New prospective UVS programm to be launched by DARPA
n its search for improved unmanned vehicle capabilities for military missions, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched its Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) programme.
Announced by DARPA on 17 March, the programme was created as a result of what the agency considers to be the ‘poor’ capability of unmanned assets currently in service.